Economic Views during the new Industrial Age

Essay by libbsHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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There were several different opinions on how the country would best survive, and a few were represented by Lester F. Ward, Henry George, and Edward Bellamy. With their drastically different opinions, each believed that society would best exist with their theories in mind. While Lester F. Ward believed in very limited government intervention, Henry George believed the opposite, and Edward Bellamy felt that with his plan put into effect, there would be no issue of government involvement at all.

Lester F. Ward was a Darwinist who expressed in his book Dynamic Sociology that he did not necessarily believe in applying these laws to civilization; he believed that human intelligence was how society was shaped. He believed that the government should make efforts to create positive changes but that the ultimate decisions would be in the hands of the people, who could adjust these plans to fit their needs.

He did not believe in the strength of the government but rather that the people should be able to make decisions for themselves.

Henry George believed that although the country was industrializing, it was not progressing because all the wealth was being given not to the workers but to the entrepreneurs. As these few families became wealthier, their land values rose as well. George felt it was unfair that these monopolists be receiving unearned money, so he fought to have the "single tax" imposed, giving the monetary value of these rising values to the people. He felt this would create a more even distribution of the wealth, prevent poverty, and break up the existing monopolies. Therefore, he believed in the government having more decision-making power.

Edward Bellamy was among the most popular theorists with his novel Looking Backward. He had a utopian view that instead of greed, competition, and social...